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Menlo Park Girl Helps Kaiser Permanente Doc Rehabilitate African women

Victoria Navarro, center, with bracelets. Mom Karolina, left, Dr. Matityahu, right
Victoria Navarro, center, with bracelets. Mom Karolina, left, Dr. Matityahu, right

Beautiful Bracelets Bring $ to help women 


              Victoria Navarro is a 9-year-old from Menlo Park, helping to rehabilitate women in Kenya, through a foundation set up by a Kaiser Permanente Redwood City physician.  She’s raised more than $400. And Victoria is doing it using rubber bands.

                “These are just amazing,” said Dr. Deb Matityahu, a KP Ob-Gyn and a resident of Los Altos, who was holding a box of Victoria Navarro’s intricate and artistic rubber-band bracelets.

                Victoria, a student at the Adelante Spanish Immersion School in Redwood City, weaves together the multi-colored rubber bands to make the bracelets, which, of course, are flexible but also display amazing patterns and texture.

                “I saw a YouTube video about how to make the bracelets”, says Victoria, a bit shyly.  “I started making them and it wasn’t very hard.”

                Indeed, Victoria changes from a shy 9-year-old to a serious and focused craftsperson when she starts making a bracelet, first weaving the rubber bands tightly around her fingers or using a plastic template to make the wristlet. She works quickly and efficiently.  In a couple of minutes, she had created the beginnings chevron-patterned bracelet in 2 shades of blue.

                “It’s fun,” she says.

                “She can make a bracelet in about 20 or 25 minutes,” says Victoria’s proud mom, Karolina. Karolina Navarro is Dr. Matityahu’s medical assistant at the Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Medical Center.  So Karolina is well aware of Dr.Matityahu’s non-profit, called “A Little 4 a Lot”, which rehabilitates shunned Kenyan women suffering from obstetric fistulae.

                In remote African villages, poor medical care often leads to problem pregnancies, fetal death and damage to reproductive organs. Dr. Matityahu often volunteers in Kenya to repair these women, but post-surgery, the women need support.

                “Victoria was talking about selling the bracelets to raise money for a good cause and Dr. Matityahu’s rehabilitation program came up, so here we are,” says Karolina.

                “The $400 dollars from Victoria’s bracelet sales will help send another Kenyan woman to sewing or computer training, or possibly back to school,” said Dr.Matityahu. She and her own young daughter Arielle started “A Little 4 a Lot” (www.ALittle4ALot.com) after one of Dr.Matityahu’s surgical volunteer missions.

                Victoria, meanwhile, has more bracelets to sell at her school, her church, and her family. She charges $3-to-$5-apiece, but gladly accepts donations for more. Dr. Matityahu says Victoria comes home from school, finishes her homework quickly, and forgoes television to work on the bracelets.

                “I just want to raise the money so I can help these women,” says Victoria.

               

               

               





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